With Mother’s Day this past Sunday and Father’s Day right around the corner (June 21 for those keeping track!), I thought I’d write a bit about celebrating parents.
It seems like plain, common sense that parents are important in a child’s life. Parents birth you, feed you, change your diapers, protect you… basically keep you alive until you’re able to do so yourself. Research shows, however, that parenting well is about so much more than that. While not biologically imperative, the warmth a mommy or daddy shows a child when treating a boo-boo has been shown to be crucial to a child’s social and emotional development. The relationships parents forge with their children have a lifelong impact on not just one’s future interpersonal relationships, but also on quality of life in general. Research indicates that levels of parental involvement are indicators for school performance and graduation rates, self-esteem & mental health, and substance abuse & violence.
“Parenting is probably the most important public health issue facing our society. It is the single largest variable implicated in childhood illnesses and accidents; teenage pregnancy and substance misuse; truancy, school disruption, and underachievement; child abuse; unemployability; juvenile crime; and mental illness.” – The Importance of parenting in child health; National Center for Biotechnology Information
Parents aren’t perfect- they’re just human, after all! But I think failing and making mistakes as a parent is not only unavoidable, it’s essential. Watching their role models make mistakes shows children that mistakes and failures happen- and it’s not the end of the world! Children are far more forgiving, understanding, and resilient than we give them credit for.
In any case, whether you’re a parent or just have one, celebrate parenthood! If you missed mother’s day, call your mom (they’re more forgiving than you think!) and don’t forget dad- it’s always a great time to appreciate parents.
As a note: My daughter and I love Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama books! What are some of your favorite books about parents? -children, YA, or adult.